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Showing posts from 2014

Μη μου μιλάς για τίποτα

Isn't it wonderful how the dead can overcome time and physical space and speak to you? How comforting. I feel like this song was written for me at this moment, for where I am right now, how I am right now.

All there is

Traveling is like death; they both teach you how to be more comfortable with uncertainty. In that sense, I had been a little prepared. Now, I'm being prepared for the other losses in my life. Everything around me, including myself, is always changing. Think of the cells in your body regenerating - every few years you are physically a new you! Spiritually, too, you regenerate and you leave your old "self" behind, almost every day, if you are lucky. In that sense, the "backbeatlili" I woke up as today is different from the one yesterday. And that's okay. The 9-year old "me" often wondered what the 26-year old "me" would be like, but now I realise we are more like sisters, rather than the same actual person. That's liberating. That lets me make decisions for the person I am right now, rather than the person I will be down the line, who might want something different from life by then. Making too many decisions for the 50-year-old "…

Today,

as always, I am thinking of my mum, and my dad.




The Waltz of Lost Dreams

Fragments of grief

As I watch the rain, I think of the butterfly, the dragonfly, the hummingbird: where do they hide, where do they go? Did they have time to escape the storm, or are they struggling under the weight of the raindrops to flap away to safety? Are they, like me, worried about their diaphanous wings, that they might tear and send them crashing to the ground? Do they love this delicate grief that drips from their glistening bodies, and do their beady eyes accept it as part of them?
Is it possible to see again through this fog of impermanence, and live beyond the terror of being eternally nothing? Do others live with a deep, aching yearning for something unknown, and will I ever find out what that is and chase after it? Like a weed that's been painfully torn from the flower bed, I've been thrown at the side of the road. Everyday in this ditch I grow taller, and observe the things around me.  
I see the other weeds surrounding me, gathering their bristly leaves and weeping milkily, the…

Tenedos

I've realised that there are whole genres of music I can't listen to without being reminded of my mum and being sad. Almost ALL greek music now brings tears to my eyes, so I usually avoid it. There are some days though that I wake up missing those Sundays when the four of us would pile up in the car and drive to the mountains listening to the radio. I miss the music, I miss the mountains, I miss my family, I miss the innocence of those sunny Sundays and the long road trips and listening to my parents talk about so many interesting and stimulating things. 
Part of project GRIEF is to bring back those memories that comprise my identity, and face the music, literally! This is an album that my dad got my mum when I was 9 years old. I loved it so much that I asked them to let me buy it for my favourite teacher in school (who was extremely surprised to receive it) and then in my first year in high school I sung one of the songs in the album acapella in front of my class as part of …

Musical Interlude

This is a cool album from 2011. Give it a listen!




Who am I?: Indonesia

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I think: Indonesia was so magical. How do you explain the massive butterflies, the eerie sounds of the forest, the edible colour of people's skin, the smell of clove cigarettes and their crackling fire like tiny lighthouses in the darkness of night, the myriads of metallic coloured bugs and moths, the shapes of the leaves, the waving children, the canopy, the landscape...
Indonesia was so magical, I left a part of me there. I know because I go there in my dreams. I fly above the world on the back of a giant Hornbill, whose loud beating wings stir oceans and bend trees. Indonesia changed me, as I questioned my notions of time, normality and among others, freedom.
I saw cocoa fruits hanging from trees, and wild orchids growing on the side of the road. I saw a hornbill's nest with a little hornbill chick's head poking out, and a langur monkey dying alone on the soft forest floor. I heard stories of spirits entering people, and of brutal beheadings carried out by flying paran…

A Change Is Gonna Come

Searching

After heavy rain the back yard smells like the rainforest. It really transports me as I sit there in the early morning sun, watching the dog play. She runs through the grass, droplets of water splashing from her feet and getting caught in the light - diamonds sprayed into the morning! She is so happy to be alive. She takes such enjoyment out of sticking her snout in the earth, smelling the fresh grass, rolling around in the mud. Puddles are such a delight for her, as she jumps into them head first, then belly and, with an agile swiveling maneuver, feet up and wriggling, like a muddy little pig. The prospect of going out in the back yard every day is so exhilarating, that she is so happy to see one of her humans in the mornings, greeting us with one of her broad pit bull smiles, the corners of her mouth curling up to show her teeth, and her tail wagging at our feet. Usually I have to reach for the coffee pot grumpily before thinking of doing anything, but today I am as drawn to the ou…

Tony's Seafood Market

Now the seafood market is a different story. The one Mark likes is called Tony's, it's in North Baton Rouge, and it's more upscale than our little tiny local one in Port Allen. North Baton Rouge has a bad reputation for being the city's ghetto. A lot of poverty and gang related violence exists there, and it is one of the more interesting parts of town. From hand-painted shop signs -"Same day car wash, shiney as a diamond"-, to threatening graffitti on concrete walls - "ShawnRee Daquan Williams is a Dead WHORE"-, to gas stations offering things like "hot tamales" and "crawfish pies" for a couple of bucks, it is like a whole part of town is wearing its heart on its sleeve, and ticking to the sounds of a different clock altogether.

[An alien such as myself can only imagine the codes, modes and rules governing a place like this, and no matter how hard I try I will always and forever be on the periphery of its experience. That's w…

The Daiquiri Shop

I have noticed that perhaps the places where one can most genuinely interact in a real way with their neighbours around here are: the bar, the market, the sex shop. 
They are all places where people are united by their need to satisfy the same thing, and so there is a strange sense of camaraderie and understanding I have not sensed in other places in this town. 
I mean, I've been to church, and I enjoy the music and the pep-talks, and people are very friendly in church, but it's not really a place to stick around and chit chat about life and stuff. People in church are busy catering to their souls, re-counting the sins of the week, taking in the spiritual experience, looking around to see who is there and who isn't, judging this week's selection of songs and whether they were sung well. People are not especially looking to talk to a stranger, and besides, the pastor makes sure to extend a warm welcome to visitors, so the congregation is covered. At service, each perso…

One of the great things about living in the South...

...is that you get to listen to music like this live every Sunday. Isn't it enough to make a non-believer sing about God? Yea, it's so beautiful. But even if you don't go to church, this wonderful music finds you everywhere. Last Sunday, I found myself at Mrs. N's house, watching her make an arrangement out of flowers, while gospel was blurting out the radio, and the house was filled with the beautiful smell of different things being fried or boiled on the gas stove. Her son was cooking and singing along in a kitchen full of steam and gospel ("Joy, joy, God's great joy!") while her husband was laid back on the couch, cigarette hanging from his lips as usual, and I could swear that through the smoke and the steam and the flower musk I saw the beans in the pot dancing, and the frying eggs shivering in Lord's praise. Even Chance the crazy little barking dog ("we found 'im in a pound and we took a chance on 'im"), that has to be tied on…

Still trying to figure things out

..or maybe that's just an excuse for not writing a single thing or even doing a single thing in the past two months. I can't remember the last time I did something useful or constructive, and in the past week I have been living in my bed, waking up and getting up occasionally to eat and stuff.
I spent the holidays with my family and it was sad and wonderful and I am never happier than when I am with them and I wish we didn't all have to live so far away from each other. But I know it's the way things have to be.
This phase in my life is inexplicable and mysterious to me, but I am living it out and hoping that somewhere unconsciously the knots are being untied and the thread of my existence is unfolding once again before me. For now, I am caught between the tangles and paralysed, like a fly caught on a glistening spider's web, a both internal and external power forcing me to patiently wait for the silky fibers to snap, releasing me once again to life.
From the blan…